As we put together this notice about Barb Cooper's retirement, she is currently celebrating her final work day with her Mayfair Lakeshore family after a long 35 years. It is difficult to summarize Barb's commitment to Squash Ontario, Lakeshore, and the squash community as a whole, but no one deserves a break more than she! Barb has promised to stay involved with the coaching programs through Squash Ontario and Squash Canada thankfully, and we wish her well with all of her future endeavours!
Please read below a notice from Squash Canada:
Canada’s squash community was stunned by the unexpected news that Canadian squash icon BARABARA COOPER, Mayfair Club Lakeshore’s Head Squash Professional, has decided the time has come to put away the racquet effective May 11th. After 35 years of achieving and giving back to our sport as member of an elite group of individuals who have done so much for squash, and sporting two new knees, Barbara will undoubtedly continue living life to its fullest with her multitude of hobbies and insatiable thirst for knowledge and the outdoors.
Thanks to the late Paul Frost, a former General Manager of the Mayfair Group who had the tremendous foresight and belief in this rare, high profiled individual back in 1987, he miraculously convinced her to leave England, come to Toronto and build from scratch a leading-edge squash program at their new Mayfair Lakeshore Racquet Club. Mission accomplished!
Born in Brighton, Sussex, Barbara started playing at age 19 and rapidly became a formidable professional squash and tennis coach. Barbara played for England, Great Britain and Canada; achieved a top 10 WISPA (now PSA) world ranking, was a member of England gold winning team in the 1979 Women’s World Team Squash Championships, was England Women’s National Coach 1979-1987 and owns a remarkable 10 world master squash titles to complimented her impressive array of provincial and national singles and doubles titles.
Canada’s only level 5 squash coach, Ms. Cooper is a Master Coach Developer for all sports facilitating such courses as ‘Managing Conflict’, ‘Coaching and Leading Effectively’, the ‘Psychology of Performance’ ‘Developing Athletic Abilities’ and ‘Leading a Drug Free Sport’. She has excelled in promoting team building, a healthy mindset and implementing effective operations. She has coached such notable athletes as Demer Holleran (former US#1, Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame and US Squash Hall of Fame Inductee), Melanie Jans (former CDN #1), NYC Heights Casino’s head squash professional Linda Elriani (England) and Julia Beaver (Princeton-Women’s College Squash Association Hall of Fame inductee) to name a few. Barbara also has had strong influence on many of Ontario’s most successful coaches.
In Barbara’s spare time she hosted the exceptionally informative series Help My Squash Game web TV shows and is a best-selling author of ‘The All In Principle’ and ‘Double Up’ plus ‘Out Front’ which won her a National Academy of Best-Selling Authors Quilly award.
To compliment her on court prowess, Barbara has also amassed numerous awards including the Ontario Government Syl Apps Award for outstanding contribution to squash in Ontario, Squash Ontario’s highest award, the Special Achievement Award and was inducted into the prestigious Ontario Squash Hall of Fame in 2015.
The impact Ms. Cooper has had on Canadian squash is insurmountable and will long outlive her new knees. Squash Canada will remain indebted to her unwavering commitment to the promotion of women in squash, the healthy development of great athletes combined with her burning desire to make the Canadian squash coaching program world class and accessible.
Thank you, Barbara!!